Saturday, 23 March 2013


I'm often asked how those living overseas can get a copy of Who Killed Dave? and always figured I'd make it available to download, one day.  But no, I finally organised for 10 days!

Feel free to share the offer around!
To keep a track of how many downloads I only ask that people download it from the website rather than share it via email etc. In a fortnights time I'm looking forward to seeing how many downloads and what countries Who Killed Dave? was downloaded from. I'll let you know. 

Living the Good Life is also at

For those of you who haven't already read it, I hope you enjoy the read.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Saving Seed

Lavender, just for how it looks
The house is festooned with bouquets of dried flowers. There are bunches of seeded lettuce in the office, you have to battle past them to get to the loo, there's long strand of rainbow chard seeds hanging beside the umbrella like carrot seed heads, there's Romanesco broccoli and parsley coriander and kale.

Apart from adding a farm house look they're actually there for a practical reason.  They're drying out further till a rainy day when I'll spend time saving their seed.

I've saved seed from our first successful rockmelon variety, Mountain Sweet after a seasons experimentation. Hopefully we can keep adapting a variety to our climate and get bumper crops. The watermelons have not been as successful. It took me way to long to realise the ducklings were slipping through fences and eating the fruits even before they set. So now I have good fruit set about the time we're expecting our first frost.

   Coriander seed
Parsley seed

We should have enough seed to start a market garden next year. We've even been setting a few things up that it might even be a distinct possibility.

Eliot Coleman is the US author of The Winter Harvest Handbook. While we're not has cold as it is in Maine we are going to adopt some of his strategies to try extend our summer/autumn harvest. The images of his immaculate market garden are inspiring. We don't currently have the water for it, but... we may well do very soon.

Do you save your own seed?

Passionfruit and Nashi Pears

I'm showing off fruit of the season again. The Black Norfolk passionfruits, all four of them, have been converted into goat's milk and chook egg passionfruit custard tarts. There are another four waiting on the vine for a similar fate.
The nashi's are eaten raw at regular intervals.

Tomorrow I'm going to have a go at nashi and vanilla bean preserves. After a day of making tomato paste while listening to it rain outside it will be nice to deal with a different product.

Yes, finally it rained! I know that's not a cry of joy elsewhere in the country, but it certainly is in bone dry Tasmania. We came to Tasmania because it rains here. Only it's stopped, and Queensland, where we came from, has barely been without a flood in the past year.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Who Killed Dave?

I'm offering my novel WHO KILLED DAVE? for half price, $12.50, signed and with free postage to Australians* 

WHO KILLED DAVE? is a riotous comedy that most people have reported embarrassing themselves while reading it on public transport or peeving their partners by giggling and snorting late at night while reading it in bed. 

Together Press cheap copies of WHO KILLED DAVE?

As the author of Living the Good Life, about our families attempt to live 6 months without spending a dollar I self-published WHO KILLED DAVE? using recycled paper, vegetable inks and carbon offsets. I have 1000 copies in my shed, they're the only place they're available :-) So make my day and hopefully WHO KILLED DAVE? will reward you with a good giggle. Because, as Charlie Chaplin said, A day without laughter is a day wasted.

Feel free to share this offer with your friends.

*sorry if you're in another location it's going to make it available as an e-book soon.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Autumn Fruit

My determination to raise rockmelon and watermelon in southern Tasmania has sort of been successful.

Mountain Sweet is a rockmelon variety that has passed the cool night test. It's sweet, tender and what I call 'lunchbox sized'. Rockmelons tended to do better than the watermelons overall. But now I've removed the ducklings from the unset fruit eating equation they are now coming along too, but maybe not quick enough to handle the rapidly cooling night time temps.

Sugarbaby is doing best, Black Biamond second (but it cheated, it grew in the greenhouse) and golden midget is roaringly healthy, but has only just set fruit.  Next year they'll be grown under a plastic hoop house ala Eliot Colemann.

The pears first season, these pears are three of only about eight fruit but I love Beurre Bosc pears. Trev says they're gritty. But reading up on them the other day it seems they are when not ripe.  Packhams Pear is also going well and the Nashi is dripping with so-darn-close-to-ripe we're-eating-a-few, fruit.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Tomato harvest

It's the season on the tomato. Autumn is such a lovely time, all the work over the summer results in pumpkins, potatoes, onions being harvested, but in particular we're having a bumper harvest of tomatoes due to the hot summer. This year we've planted the ubiquitous Roma, plus Wonderlight (yellow), Red Climbing Fig, plus this marvellous round orange tomato with great flavour and a forgettable name. Thankfully it's tucked away in a diary somewhere to be resorted to after I finally give up all hope of bludgeoning my synapses for a response.
Apart from eating a lot of tomatoes, every time the oven's lit we dry them in the warming ovens, Trev eats them like lollies. On the stove top we're busy bottling them. Like bottles of summer sunshine

What's your favourite tomato preserving recipe?